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Basics with Fire

May 2021 | Marketing & Insights

Consumers are spending more time in the kitchen than ever, and they’re ready to break away from their usual fare for something a bit more exciting. While entirely new ingredients from other cultures or cuisines are finding their way into consumer palates, plenty of consumers are exploring much closer to home. Instead of starting from scratch, pantry staples such as sauces and vinegars are being reimagined with new spices and flavor profiles, including jalapeno and ginger.

Basics will never be boring again.

Why This Trend Will Stick


Within the past 50 years, the flavor profile within the average home kitchen has quadrupled in size.

— Nielsen in Food Processing


The global pasta (tomato) sauce market size is expected to reach $17.3 billion by 2027 expanding at a CAGR of 3.2% from 2020 to 2027.

— Globe Newswire

Spicy Sauces

Pasta sauce is a classic staple food. A jar of sauce can be kept for months, ready to pop open and serve in a variety of dishes at a moment’s notice. They tend to serve as a great base for additional flavor, but rarely a powerhouse of tastes in and of themselves.




Adding a spicy edge is a wonderful way to help sauce take center stage once more. Otamot’s Spicy Organic Sauce starts with the same tomatoey base, but adds a three-pepper blend with jalapeno, crushed red pepper, and chile powder for a hefty kick of spice. As a bonus, their sauces are filled with veggies such as butternut squash, sweet potato, carrot, and onion, making for a much healthier, richer, and more flavorful sauce. Its slight spiciness is perfect with pasta, pizza, Bloody Marys, and more.

Fiery Chai

When it comes to spicier drinks, chai might be top of the list. Native to India, this tea is packed with hearty herbs and spices such as ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, and more. Vanilla and honey are also popular flavor add-ins.

Bringing the full power of chai spices is Spicewalla’s Chai Masala. This mix-in powder makes the delicious Chaiwalla flavors of Mumbai available right at home, combining ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, clove, green cardamom, and allspice for a flavorful, robust mix. Leaning heavier on ginger and lighter on cinnamon, it’s a spicier take on this delicious warm beverage.


White-Hot Vinegar

While vinegar is not often thought of as a flavor superstar, its relatively straightforward sourness makes it the perfect vehicle for other tastes. By fermenting their raw vinegars with vegetables, herbs, spices, and fruits, Acid League has developed a line of tasty, dynamic vinegars that can bring a pop of color to any dish. Its Garden Heat variety includes celery, carrot, and jalapeno juices for a fresh, earthy flavor. The spiciness is noticeable, but not so aggressive that the other elements are difficult to appreciate, leaving plenty of room for the vegetable flavors to shine through. This vinegar would be the perfect addition to stir fry, roasted veggies, chicken, and more.


  • Beverages are an underutilized space for exploring spiciness and depth. Consider more complexity in spices and flavor profile by utilizing flavors like chai.
  • Spice is great in a supporting role, too. Incorporating spices in base ingredients like vinegars makes it easy for consumers to get a hint of spice in a variety of recipes.
  • Peppers can provide a fresh twist to classic pantry staples such as pasta sauces, bringing lots of flavor to healthy alternatives.

Feeling bold? Let’s work together to reimagine the flavor of your product lines. Contact your McCormick account manager or contact us today.